10 Top-Rated Affordable Hotels in Washington, D.C.

Looking for a corner of the capital to call your own without plunging into debt? These stylish offerings promise perks aplenty at prices that deserve to make headlines.

Photo By: Adrian Gaut

Photo By: Melrose Georgetown Hotel

Photo By: Cris Molina

Photo By: Pod DC Hotel

Photo By: Hotel Hive

Photo By: Mason & Rook Hotel

Photo By: The Dupont Circle

Photo By: The Darcy

Photo By: Hotel Lombardy

Photo By: The Watergate Hotel

Eaton DC

Washington D.C. is literally and figuratively hot right now: 21.9 million U.S. tourists visited last year, breaking records for the ninth time in a row. Once notorious for room rates that would make a diplomat blush, the District is making a name for itself as a destination that doesn’t have to break the bank. Join us for a tour of 10 top spots to tuck in for the night.

Head downtown to K Street for an experience that’s as comfortable as it is socially and environmentally conscious: Eaton DC is the flagship property of Eaton Workshop, a company that offers up hospitality along with opportunities for social change. In practice, that means that its cozy guest rooms rub shoulders with coworking spaces, a serene wellness center, a veggie-friendly restaurant and more. Each of those guest rooms is appointed with a record player and vinyl, a well-curated (and sustainable) minibar and a “hand-picked selection of rare and radical books.” BOOK NOW: Eaton DC, from $199/night

Melrose Georgetown Hotel

Desk staffers at the Melrose Georgetown Hotel are more than happy to offer tips for a walking tour of nearby Embassy Row (the city’s mansion-lined diplomatic corridor), but don’t be surprised if you wander even further afield — it’s very easy to lose yourself in the innumerable landmarks, shops and eateries of northwestern D.C. This four-star boutique property puts a posh and playful spin on history and luxury: rooms feature Constitution-themed wallpaper and a modern version of Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington dollar-bill portrait, and Jardenea (its award-winning farm-to-table eatery) is a locavore’s happy place. Don’t worry about splitting up from your traveling companions, as the Melrose syncs your smartphone for keyless room access. BOOK NOW: Melrose Georgetown Hotel, from $227/night

Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle

The Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle’s landmark building boasts both original Art Deco details like its lobby’s marble floor tiles and hyper-modern design flourishes from artist Michele Oka Doner (who contributed four permanent pieces to the space). The hotel leans into its relationship with the city’s international artistic community, and its “living room” hosts both a nightly wine hour and a public gallery (the current “One Voice” exhibition, open now through September, presents work from local LGBT artists and allies). Cozy up with the hotel’s Frette linens and order from room service, which makes its way to you from the Riggsby, an onsite American/European hybrid restaurant helmed by James Beard Foundation Award winner Michael Schlow. BOOK NOW: Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle, from $149/night

Pod DC Hotel

If you’ve never experienced the enlightened minimalism of a “pod” hotel (so named because its rooms maximize efficiency and value, not because it loads its guests like missiles into launching chambers), there’s no time like the present to give one a try. Pod DC packs “play” into communal areas like its diner and coffee bar, penthouse cocktail space (with a view of the Washington Monument) and downstairs whiskey bar — and makes the most of the 150 square feet in your room by reserving it for the things you should have to yourself. BOOK NOW: Pod DC Hotel, from $99/night (for a Full pod)

Hotel Hive

Like Pod DC, Hotel Hive gives travelers bang for their bucks by focusing on fundamentals rather than frills, which are à la carte. For accomplished sleepers, its “Buzz Rooms” (located near the property’s bar and pizza shop, and a bit noisier and less scenic than its top-floor loft spaces) ring in at less than dinner for two at a nearby hotspot. Those high-ceilinged loft spaces, in turn, feature rustic beams and exposed brick — and up to 200 square feet of space. If you’re the sort of traveler who drops off their luggage and promptly heads out on the town, Hotel Hive — which is two blocks from the nearest metro station and a 10-minute walk from the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center — is your new BFF. BOOK NOW: Hotel Hive, from $74/night

Mason & Rook Hotel

Once a Kimpton hotel, Mason & Rook joined Viceroy Hotels & Resorts this summer and will be relaunching as the Viceroy Washington D.C. next year. At the tender age of three, it’s already a local favorite for its cocktail bar, seasonal rooftop oasis and spacious accommodations (known to be some of the largest in the city, thanks to the hotel’s former life as an apartment building), and industry pros are expecting even more luxury as the hotel moves into its next chapter. One thing that won’t change: Its prime location, just steps away from the revitalized and unquestionably hip 14th Street Corridor. BOOK NOW: Mason & Rook Hotel, from $159/night

The Dupont Circle

The Dupont Circle — appropriately named, since it’s the only hotel actually on bustling Dupont Circle — makes the most of its prime location with sexy, midcentury-inspired dining and drinking spaces (The Pembroke and Doyle, respectively) that are perfect for a leisurely stretch of people-watching with a martini. Its cool, luxurious rooms, in turn, offer a refined respite (think plush velvets and marble expanses) from the metropolis at its doorstep. BOOK NOW: The Dupont Circle, from $269/night

The Darcy

Boutique hotels aren’t often associated with innovative kids’ programs, but The Darcy has made a name for itself with an impressively personalized perk: its youngest guests can check out Darcy Daypacks, complimentary knapsacks filled with everything they need to complete their choice of five themed “missions” (including The Darcy Detective, Hip Historian, Mini Monet, Shoot for the Stars and Wild in the City). Grown-ups, in turn, can sip complimentary cocktails at 5:30 each evening—or summon a mixologist to prepare something special in-room. BOOK NOW: The Darcy, from $119/night

Hotel Lombardy

Built in 1926 just two blocks from the White House, Hotel Lombardy is recognized as a Historic Hotel of America (and has the sumptuous architectural accents to prove it). It’s also a modern heavy hitter on sites like TripAdvisor, thanks to its generous rooms with an air of updated European luxury. Head to the Venetian Room Bar & Lounge for a fireside drink and a taste of the hotel’s classic Foggy Bottom atmosphere. BOOK NOW: Hotel Lombardy, from $109/night

The Watergate

The Watergate Hotel — which was lavishly rebooted in 2016, with both restored original details (like an indoor saltwater pool and a grand staircase) and a new restaurant and whisky bar — doesn’t shy away from its historical notoriety: in fact, guests are welcome to tour and even book the Scandal Room (originally Room 214, used in the 1972 Watergate break-in) and explore its period details. Visitors who wish to make their own history can visit the spectacular Top of the Gate rooftop bar and lounge and take in 360-degree views of the city or — for the less budget-minded — book a rooftop glamping experience in a see-through globe. BOOK NOW: The Watergate Hotel, from $319/night

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